Earlier this week, my Windows 7 computer lost the ability to run games. As soon as I started a game (Max Payne 2), the screen turned green and then computer hanged up. I was scratching my head over this problem, when my friend told me to check if my GPU was getting too hot. Windows 7 does not provide any way to check the temperatures of GPU, CPU and other hardware parts, but you can use free CPUID HWMonitor tool to check various sensors and monitor voltages, temperatures and fan speeds. Using HWMonitor I found out that my GPU was getting very hot, so I applied new thermal paste and everything went ok.
CPUID HWMonitor is a hardware monitoring program that can read your computer systems’ main health sensors – voltages, temperatures, fans speed. This program handles the most common sensor chips, like ITE IT87 series, most Winbond ICs, and others. Additionally, it can read modern CPUs on-die core thermal sensors, as well has hard drives temperature via S.M.A.R.T, and video card GPU temperature.
You can download it from the CPUID website. The program comes both as an installable setup and as a portable application. I prefer the portable edition because you can just download it and start running it without having to install anything. It supports all the versions of Windows including Windows XP, Vista and 7. You can use it on both the 32-bit and the 64-bit editions of Windows.
When you run it for the first time, it starts slow because its gathering your hardware information and querying the sensors in your motherboard, APU, CPU, GPU and hard disks. In the HWMonitor window it shows a list of various hardware components that have sensors. You can see the fan speeds, hard disk temperatures, CPU and GPU temperatures and voltage levels. You can see the minimum and maximum values of all sensors which is helpful for benchmarking as the values keep on changing.
HWMonitor can tell you the temperature levels of various components. This is very helpful in finding out whether the heatsinks of your APU, CPU or GPU are working properly. In case the heat is going up very much, you need to replace the thermal paste yourself or just take it to a computer repair shop and have it replaced. Its always better to known beforehand whether your hardware is giving the panic signals than to get your CPU or GPU cooked up and then have to buy a new one. You can download HWMonitor from http://www.cpuid.com/softwares/hwmonitor.html.